Yesterday we began the day by visiting Tel Hazor. You can read about the taking of this ancient city in the book of Joshua, Chapters 11-12.
We then headed to Caesarea Philippi, which is also called Banias. We discussed how important Peter’s statement that Yeshua is the Messiah was in this location, for this place was full of idolatry. Peter was stating that all of those idols were false. Idolatry is creating one’s own god for his or her own wants. Peter was stating that Yeshua should not be added to one’s collection of idols.
We then made our way up to the Golan Heights. We took a light lunch break at Birkat Ram, and enjoyed some local Druze dishes, including labne. This is a type of cheese, drizzled in olive oil and spices and put in a flatbread.
We then headed to a lookout over the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria. This land contains a UN base and the abandoned city of Old Quneitra. This area is called the Ein Zivan Junction overlook. From here, we were looking into Syria.
Naftali our guide told us many stories of great valour and courage which Israel showed during the 1967 War and the Yom Kippur War. The battles against heavy odds showed G-d’s hand of protection and I believe all of us benefitted from his knowledge.
We made a brief stop at El-Rom, a kibbutz which houses a small tourist center and produced a film about the Battle of the Valley of Tears. This battle is one of great bravery of the 7th brigade during the Yom Kippur war.
Our final stop of the day was Gamla. This is a very interesting site of great historical significance and also great natural beauty. Remnants of the oldest synagogue were found there. It was built on a steep hill shaped like a camel’s hump, from which it derives its name (Gamal is camel in Hebrew).
When looking at the steep sides, it is hard to believe they were able to build a city on it. Also located at the site (on the other side) is a steep valley which contains a large waterfall in the distance and also a place where eagles can be seen soaring in the sky. It was such a peaceful, amazing place.
It was another full day and we enjoyed the sites and stories we encountered.